Ma. Lourdes Esguerra Cantor, DDM
College of Dentistry
Maintenance of oral health of handicapped children requires special care and attention. Their condition presents the need to modify health education measures, such as oral hygiene instruction. Visually impaired children lack the ability to see if they have effectively removed dental plaque and debris which are etiological factors of dental disease. To improve the oral health of blind children, the proper technique of brushing should be promoted. This study was conducted to determine the effect of guided brushing on the oral hygiene performance of blind children of Northern Luzon Association for the Blind (NLAB) school for the blind. Guided brushing in this study involves the process of directing the blind children in proper cleaning of the exposed surfaces of their teeth. The principles of brushing, as the primary process of oral hygiene, include proper positioning, motion, sequence, duration, and frequency of brushing. This single group pre-test-post-test experimental study utilized the Patient Hygiene Performance (PHP) Index by Podshadley in determining the oral hygiene performance of the children. All the visually impaired/blind children housed at the NLAB school for the blind during school year 2004-2005 participated in the study. The comparison between the pre-test and post-test oral hygiene performance was answered through the t-test for paired observations. Results of the study showed that the children had very good to best oral hygiene performance. There is a significant difference in the performance of the children in the pre-test and post-test. Guided brushing helped improve the oral hygiene performance of the blind children. Gender and type of visual impairment did not significantly affect the oral hygiene performance of the children.
Source: UB Research Journal, Vol. XXIX, No. 1, January – June 2005